Passive transient wave confinement due to nonlinear joints in coupled flexible systems

T. A. Nayfeh, A. F. Vakakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We numerically study transient wave propagation in linear flexible waveguides coupled by means of nonlinear backlash joints. No structural disorder is assumed to exist in the repetitive systems under consideration. Early-time spatial confinement of the wave motion due to the backlashes is detected for certain values of the systems' parameters. A discussion of the causes of this nonlinear wave localization is given. A transient confinement indicator is established and employed for the design optimization of the backlash joints for optimum energy confinement in the directly forced subsystem. The optimization study reveals that strong passive motion confinement can occur, even when strong coupling between subsystems exists, complementing previous studies in the literature where nonlinear localization due to weak subsystem coupling was investigated. The present results have applicability to designs of joints for practical large-scale repetitive space structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number333968
Pages (from-to)333-354
Number of pages22
JournalNonlinear Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Large-scale flexible periodic systems
  • Nonlinear localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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